|Anstead, Barrellan Point,
Chuwar, Karana Downs,
Karalee, Kenmore, Lake Manchester,
Moggill, Moores Pocket,
Tivoli, Upper Brookfield
|JUNE 2, 2006|
PIONEER’S MEMORIAL RETURNED TO GRAVE
was a gathering that was in some ways reminiscent of earlier times
with riders emerging from the bush on horseback while others wound
their way up the hill on foot.
The four wheel drives that
traversed the hill reminded us however that we were very much in the
present and that this was an event of our time where local community
spirit was clearly still very much alive and kicking.
wonderful to have such a diverse mix of people. Students from
Pullenvale State School present with their Principal, members from a
number of the original farming families in the Pullen Vale and
Brookfield areas and other interested residents. It was this broad
representation from the community that generated a sense of
authenticity and historical importance that lifted this event to
another level of significance.
Councillor Margaret de Wit
spoke about the importance of keeping our history alive and
acknowledged that this place was significant to Aboriginal and Non-
Aboriginal alike. I shared some thoughts and personal anecdotes
about Adam Walker. As we gathered around the graveyard fence it was
for many the first time that they had seen and read the inscription
on the gravestone, which reads: “In Loving Memory Of ADAM J. F.
Beloved Husband of AGNES WALKER - Died at Pullen Vale, 13th May
1879. Aged 41 years Gone but not forgotten. (A.L.Petrie Toowong).”
This story really begins however almost twenty years earlier
when I was wandering with my close friend and compatriot Mrs Libby
Wager in search of the cemetery site. What we found was Adam
Walker’s gravestone on the ground in four pieces, shattered it
seemed by a bullet. We took the gravestone back to the Pullenvale
Environmental Education Centre with the intention of protecting it
from further damage.
My noble thought of repairing the
headstone remained only a thought however until Verne and Pat Gibson
came to the rescue and donated the money to have it restored. Once
again the idea of returning the gravestone to its rightful place
surfaced but did not eventuate until Brendan Ryan acted in 2005, and
re-awakened interest in the idea of bringing the gravestone home, so
the wheels began turning and this wonderful event was organised.
I cannot thank Brendan and the Brookfield History group
enough for their ongoing persistence, which has now resulted in the
community having access to a very significant and important heritage
Adam James Furley Walker owned portions 231, 245 and
263 on the south slopes of the Mount Elphinstone Range to the west
of the cemetery. He arrived in Brisbane from Scotland with his wife
Agnes in 1865. Adam was very active in the community, and was
instrumental in the building of the first Pullenvale School in 1874.
Its first location was in Blaney’s Paddock and he was the first
school committee secretary.
The school building and
residence were later moved by bullock wagon to its present site in
Grandview Road Pullenvale and functioned there as the local school
until 1981 when it became part of the Pullenvale Environmental
The Walkers had nine children, seven of
whom survived their father. In March 1873, the Queensland Board of
General Education received a letter from Adam Walker formally
requesting a State School for the Pullenvale area on behalf of the
local residents. He died in 1879 of tuberculosis with which he had
suffered for four years. The Pullenvale community had lost a
committed and enthusiastic advocate. These words from the letter he
had sent to the Board of Education in 1873 give us a sense of the
kind of man that he was.
“We are but a young and struggling
community endeavouring to plant ourselves in the wilderness which
goodness knows is hard uphill work with not one among us who has had
more than a pair of strong hands and a willing heart to enter into
this arduous task. But our children are dear to us and we would not
have them grow up in ignorance to be distanced in the race of life
if by any effort on our part we could avert it”.
Walker’s gravestone is the only surviving marked grave in the
cemetery site. The Queensland burial index lists another seven
burials at the cemetery. These are: Adam James Furley Walker
(b.1839, d.1879); Adam Walker (b.1873, d.1876) and William Walker
(b.1878, d.1879), infant sons of Adam James Furley Walker and Agnes
McLauchlan; Margaret Herron (d.1879), infant daughter of Thomas
Herron and Ann Jane Gray; Robert Irwin (d.1888), son of William
James Irwin and Christina McKay; Samuel Ballard (d.1885), son of
Samuel Ballard and Eliza Lewis; Mabel (d.1883) and Louisa Ballard
(d.1883), daughters of Thomas Lewis Ballard and Elizabeth A.
If you have time to spare then wander up to the old
cemetery site and take a look for yourself. The entrance is off to
the right where Haven and Gem Road intersect. Gem road is
unfortunately unmarked at the moment, which can be a little
confusing. At this point you need to begin walking up what appears
at first glance to be a driveway. Walk until you reach a rustic
steel bush gate on your left. This is the entrance to the old Pullen
Vale cemetery. Climb to the top of the hill and there you will find
Adam Walker’s newly located gravestone.
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